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Nottingham Symphonic Wind Orchestra
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Saturday 16th September 2017
7:00pm

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Nottingham Symphonic Wind Orchestra
Moor Green
Sunday 17th September 2017
3:00pm

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Article: Conductor\'s Diary

Conductor\'s Diary December 2007

Conductor\'s Diary December 2007


24th December

\\\\\\\\\\\\Time to wish everyone a happy Christmas. Joy to you all!//////
21st December

Last day of term. Can\'t be bad!

20th December

The last day of the term approaches and I have finished the two orchestra arrangements for next year; still need to print them out though. I have retrieved my Samba Band equipment from the Kings Hall and just have to deal with loads of \"hyper\" pupils who are high as kites because of Christmas. (humbug) They all want to have useless lessons but really they are better off working as the time passes quicker. They only \"think\" that it would be better to watch videos or DVDs. I need to do some Christmas shopping, get the outside lights up, spend time with family, wrap presents, gnash fingernails over late deliveries and put up a curtain rail. All good stuff!

Today I will rush into Leeds for the last rehearsal of the Wind Group this year. I wonder how well it will be attended as it is almost end of term there too.

I will be in a lot over Christmas. Visitors are welcome, just give me a ring to check we are in and come for a vino, mince pie or simple cuppa.

I will put a proper Christmas greeting on the site to all (both) my loyal readers. I have now been embracing you with eternal dullness for over a year. I think around 400 people log in each day but some of it is search engine stuff. I appreciate the guestbook comments and most of them do get uploaded, there are some bizzarre ones which I have left off too. I get lots of email and I try to answer it all if I can. If I have not answered yours, hassle me and I will.


17th December


Last night was the Phoenix Christmas Concert and the final session of 2007 for the band. After some fraught rehearsals and the odd crisis, the performance was well appreciated by the large audience. The programme was a good mix of seasonal and entertaining pieces. It included parts of A Joyful Christmas by Neil Richardson which I must recommend to all good bands as a lovely piece with a really English feel to it. Rather \"BBC\" in places due to Richardson\'s vast experience of scoring for TV and Radio. The wind writing is sophisticated and challenging whilst engaging the audience and respecting the original carols. Phoenix played a good concert although there were frequent errors which could have been avoided. Much effort went into getting everyone in tune and in all the audience had a good experience. I was slightly grumpy because my cold came back after its 10 day break. I took it out on a stuffed snowman and felt better for it!

This week there is a parent\'s evening, a presentation evening, at which the Samba band and flute group will perform, a rehearsal at Leeds College of Music and then..... a break! During the holidays I will try to catch up with some new articles on here, some sleep, and escape from this tenatious and annoying cold!!


14th December

The last Phoenix rehearsal before their concert and the imbalance is still causing difficulties. The band seem to be coping slightly better with the problems but at this stage I could only sort out the very worst moments. The programme was played right through so at least the players who have the worst attendance have seen everything, although there were still a few missing and I bet they show up for the performance. All of this is of course par for the course in the community band world and really there has been enough rehearsal to play this programme on Sunday. Every Christmas concert has been successful and I know that they can play this one just as well.

LCM had a lot of players missing who were in a rehearsal for an orchestral concert that very evening, so I don\'t mind losing them. The group continues to improve as they have young, enthusiastic players who are living and breathing music every day. They should try to make the most of their time there as it is a uniquely brilliant time of life.

Yesterday and today I am recording, marking and coaching GCSE music students doing performances. It is always a tough ask to do everything involved in this as well as providing work for the displaced classes. Examiner, coach, councillor, invigilator, technician, recording engineer, accompanist, percussionist, roadie, removals man, arbitrator, music teacher are all required; only they are all me!

9th December

Yesterday was my last trip to Nottingham of 2007 and although the motorway was a nightmare again, with heavy traffic, high winds, rain and spray, the orchestra made the trip worth while.

The Christmas Concert at St Giles in West Bridgeford had all the ingredients of a succesful evening. Good variety, a nice setting, mulled wine, little children singing and camcorder wielding parents.

NSWO had to contend with a rather odd stage layout, difficult sight lines and odd acoustics. They are made of strong stuff these days and always give 100% for their loyal audience. Some of the music was not easy and the group worked hard to play it as professionally as possible.

All was not perfect throughout the evening but the level of playing was generally very good and the group can be as pleased as I am with all of their work in 2007.

They will be rehearsing for the children\'s concert nearer Christmas with a view to entertaining hundreds of young people and their parents so I will not be needed. So I wish all of the players and helpers a very happy Christmas and New Year.
6th December

Another busy week. I didn\'t make it to Barnsley last night due to the Sixth Form Open Evening, the timings of which was so out, that I didn\'t get in till after 9.00pm.

Today it is LCM and Phoenix and I will try to find a way round all that traffic in Leeds.


3rd December

Towards the end of the year I will publish on this site a guide for assessing the current standard of your band. I have been working on this for some time and I am hoping to make it useful for all conductors and organisers to calculate where they are and where thay want to go. It may also be useful for creating a strategy for improvement in all aspects of the organisation. Watch this space!


2nd December
A busy rehearsal with NSWO and I felt that a good concert is on the cards. There are always some fundamental issues to deal with in this sort of programme and I am confident that the group will produce the goods on the day.

The M1 was blocked due to an accident at J30. People just not driving for the conditions. Due to that load of rubbish I was delayed by an hour and 40 minutes. Nightmare! I arrived home tired and frazzled. The radio was playing some football, a live match, now that could occupy me in the traffic jam! Oh no wait, it\'s Harrogate Town v Mansfield. No offence but paint drying on the radio would be more entertaining. My average speed in the 86 miles from Nottingham was 33 mph.

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